Service to his country and his profession


Col. Sal M. Nodjomian, P.E., F.SAME USAF (Ret.), (left) takes the oath of office as National President of the Society of American Military Engineers, May 2017 Photo courtesy of SAME
Sal Nodjomian's nearly 24-year career in the United States Air Force afforded him the opportunity to travel the world and serve his country, all while employing his skills as an engineer. Now, retired from active service,Col. Nodjomian (MS '94 CE) has found a new way to serve his country and profession. In May of 2017, he was sworn in as the National President of the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME), a non-profit organization that leads collaborative efforts among public and private sector entities to identify and resolve national security infrastructure-related challenges.


The society, established in 1920, enabled Sal to influence training and education programs, professional development activities and mentoring events for its 30,000 members, opportunities he described as "incredibly satisfying." Col. Nodjomian stated that the opportunity with SAME was another way to "pay forward the gifts that were bestowed on me. As with most volunteer activities, the more you give, the more you get back!"

Sal also serves as Executive Vice President for Matrix Design Group, an engineering consulting firm with 11 offices worldwide. He is energized by Matrix's multidisciplinary approach to its clients' needs. Using the analogy of a track relay race, he said "The most dangerous part of any track relay race is the hand off." Matrix addresses the challenges that arise from these various "hand offs" or transitions that take place during a project's design phase by applying this multidisciplinary expertise to everything from the initial planning and economic analysis, to its multi-faceted engineering requirements.

Sal Nodjomian (L), leads a discussion among military leaders during SAME
These transitions, according to Sal, are opportunities to learn and grow, both personally and professionally. He recounted the many "back to the drawing board" moments he had while in graduate school at Ohio State that served as the basis for this philosophy. "I have the fondest memories of my time at Ohio State," Nodjomian said.

Col. Nodjomian is proud of his chosen profession and is confident in its future role in society. Recounting his Air Force experiences, he said "Planes don't fly, satellites don't launch, intelligence doesn't get gathered, unless engineers are there to facilitate critical operations." The same goes for the civilian world. "Civil engineers set the stage for other engineering disciplines to do what they do."

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